toddler girl sitting on white pumpkin - best family bucket list DIY- newborn photography Kansas City

I'm currently reading Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and you're likely wondering what on earth that has to do with our favorite fall traditions. But a passage from this novel really had me thinking about the importance of creating memories together as a family. Here's an excerpt on June, a twice-over single mother of four children:

"But the truth was, June simply adored her children. She loved their thoughts and ideas, loved to hear about their personal discoveries, loved to watch them as they began to take the shape of fully formed people. She thought of her children like the magic grow capsules you got at gift shops at the science museum. These tiny little nothings that you drop into water and then watch as they slowly reveal what they were always destined to be. This one a Stegosaurus, this one a T. rex. Except, instead, it was watching them become dependable, or talented, or kind, or daring. June knew that her children had found a previously undiscovered part of themselves that day. She knew that childhood is made up of days magnificent and mundane."

The magnificent and the mundane-- I love that last line as it relates to both childhood and motherhood, but more than anything, it reminds me that magic is so often found in the mundane.

Our seasonal bucket lists are typically structured with a few big activities like visiting the pumpkin patch and picking apples, but I'll tell you my favorite days are always when we check off something a little more mundane. So, you'll notice a lot of our items are smaller activities with little to no prep or activities that allow us to think of others. You can find our family's list below!





  • Visiting Johnson Farms to pick pumpkins and apples. Last year Hattie was obsessed with the pumpkin chomper and talked about it well into the spring! We always eat at Martin City Pizza in Martin City on our way home! They have some of my favorite gluten-free pizza!
  • Painting pumpkins
  • Grabbing a pumpkin spice latte from Hi Hat and walking around Westwood Hills which gives me thee best Halloween Town vibes on a gloomy fall day. Also, if you're local to KC, can we also talk about how cute Hi Hat is?
  • "Boo" our neighbors-- you can read how we did it HERE!
  • Create a thankful tree or turkey where you write down one thing you're thankful for each day.
  • Thank important people in your life! Last year we wrote notes to Hattie's Sunday School teachers, and this year we will do something special for the staff at her school.


  • We are planning on taking a day trip to Weston. We haven't been yet and have heard the drive there in the fall is stunning!


  • Watch your favorite Halloween movie as a family | bonus: watch it under the stars!
  • We love this indoor/outdoor projector and use it weekly! It is currently $100 off!
  • Make s'mores
  • Go for a nature walk | bonus: make a craft with your findings!
  • Have a picnic in the park
  • Create a neighborhood Halloween decor scavenger hunt.
  • Play in the leaves
  • Explore a new park
  • Boo at the zoo
  • Take a stroll through your neighborhood with your favorite hot beverage
  • Visit a corn maze
  • Go to a trunk or trick-or-treat
  • Bake a fall treat
  • Make pinecone bird feeders
  • Check out fall, Halloween, or Thanksgiving themed books at the library
  • Go on a fall hike | Here's a great list for KC!
  • Take your fall family photos and if you send holiday cards, keep your timeline in mind!

For us, making memories as a family is a core value, and our bucket lists help us to slow down, make time, and enjoy the magic. I hope this helps you, too!

Happy fall, friends!


PS: don't forget to kick off your Christmas season at one of my two Santa + Holiday Events!

Meredith Maag Photography specializes in newborn, maternity, and family photography in Kansas City, Columbus, Ohio, and is available for travel.


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